Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fruit and fruitcakes? (OK that was cheesy)

Buying fruit and other produce is always cheaper and fresher in the villages than in town so we often stop on the way home.

There are a few markets that feature obnoxiously aggressive people. There is one market, N’Cando market (I call it creepy market), where we always get harassed.

One time a crazy person followed Lacy around yelling “OBAMA….OBAMA…OBAMA” for 10 straight minutes.

Another time a guy helped me carry some bottles so I said zikomo (thank you) and he went crazy talking in Chichewa. Apparently he was saying that I spoke Chichewa (any tourist with a pulse knows how to say zikomo so I’m not entirely sure where he got that impression) and that he wanted to know how old I was because he wanted to marry me. “I hope she’s my age!” he kept repeating (to the endless amusement of the nurses and drivers).

And last time, Lacey was helping me pour my water bottle over my hands to get them clean after clinic. A guy rushes up, thrusts his hands into the stream of water under my hands and starts yelling “yah! yah!” It was like we were washing our hands together and somehow he made it incredibly uncomfortable. Creepy but hysterical.

But N’Cando is the exception rather than the rule. Most markets are less, er, eventful and buying produce is usually pleasant and can even be fun. There is a market where the women know me and rush the car as soon as I arrive in an attempt to be the first to sell their wares. Last time we went they were all yelling “we are so proud of you” for some reason. I also particularly like them because they always give me a “prize” when I buy something. It's just an extra scoop or another eggplant etc but it makes me feel like I won something! Way better than, say, "extra eggplant" or "buy 13 for the price of 12!" I won!

Another fun Market is in Mulanje district on our way home for Muloza where we usually get pineapples, avocados (they call them pears) and the nurses and drivers get cassava.

There is a woman there who sells amazing pineapples for 50 kwacha (about 33 cents). She will cut them for you right there if you want and always helps me tie up my purchases in my chitenje.
I call her "zanga" (friend) and if by friend you mean someone who enjoys taking your money, then we are BFFers.

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